How pharmacists can create social media content that engages and invites
Creating meaningful social media content can be broken down into 3 stages: planning, creating and refining.
To organize a brand, build credibility, and engage an audience, you always need to present yourself with high-quality content. Valuable content will not only set you apart from other competitors, but it will also increase engagement around your platform.
What do you have to say? This can be summed up by the previous branding article and summarizing your value proposition, which is your core concept that highlights your uniqueness and the added value you will bring to your audience. Once you’ve got that sorted out, it’s time to start building content around your niche.
Content creation can be broken down into 3 stages: planning, authoring and refining. Having a good, easy-to-follow process will set you up for success and give you a system that is easily replicable when life is busy.
The planning stage is where you sit down with a calendar or Google Docs, organize what you’re going to say, and then plan it all out. By planning your content in advance, you can free up time for engagement, be proactive, and align your message with other key platforms and events.
A good way to start planning your content is to pick 4-8 themes that match your post and rotate them. For example, I like to alternate content that emphasizes professional development, student issues, physical and mental well-being, and stress management. For me, this is my wellness niche.
You can also align your content to specific days of the week. For example, #medicationmonday, #tutorialtuesday, #wellnesswednesday, and #throwbackthursday are all examples of how you can organize your post around different themes.
Another good example is looking at months and national holidays for inspiration. Both American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day are a way to celebrate heart health in February and align it with your message.
Once you have your themes, arrange them in a calendar. You can do this in Google docs, Excel, or even by printing out a physical calendar and taking notes. There are also some great apps, such as … the rest is up to you. Some people plan for a week, some for a month, and some for a year.
How do you find a constant flow of ideas? It really comes down to using the themes you worked on in the planning phase and creating content around that.
Usually, you need to have a dedicated block of time to do this. I would recommend that you set aside some time per week, figure out what you can handle, and then go from there. It might take 15 minutes or 3 hours, but it needs to be consistent and align with the long term goals that you expect from your platform.
Everyone has a different creative process, and you have to find the right one for you. It could be dancing and listening to music, looking for inspiration on Pinterest, going to a coffee shop and writing, or browsing websites for ideas.
It is also good to offer different types of content, both long form (a blog post or YouTube video) and short form (an Instagram caption).
Finally, you don’t have to show up on all social media platforms. Pick the top 2-3 that your audience uses and post there regularly, but don’t post the same content across all platforms.
You have to change it a bit for each platform. For example, your audience on LinkedIn is probably a little different than your audience on TikTok. If someone follows you across multiple platforms, they don’t want to see the same thing appear over and over again.
Above all, you need to think about what is to gain for your audience and create value for them. In my opinion, it’s more important to post less frequently, but still consistently, like Monday / Wednesday / Friday, and have quality, engaging content than posting just for the sake of posting every day.
Twitter and Instagram typically reward more frequent engagement than LinkedIn or Pinterest, for example. Again, it differs by platform, but if you want to experience growth and engagement, consistency and quality are your tools.
In the refinement phase, you edit your posts, create compelling visuals, and think of eye-catching captions and hashtags. If you’re editing a YouTube video or podcast, this is the stage where you just edit.
Some great tools for fine-tuning your work are apps like Canva, Preview, and any other filtering apps that will make your account look cohesive. How comfortable do you feel with your titles and your writing? Convenient, practical, practical. There will be an investment in time at the start, but it will get easier as you go.
A word about spontaneity
Spontaneity is a good thing and is important for social media and your professional life. Yes, it’s good to have scripted content, but we also want to be authentic when we connect with others.
There will always be hot topics, news, or something new in your profession that you can talk about. Use platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook stories to highlight these moments.
So plan your foundation, but don’t be afraid to step into some of your daily thinking just so people can see the real you and connect. Remember, what sets you apart is your unique background and perspective.
Set a few boundaries for yourself, such as what falls within your expertise and value proposition, then don’t be afraid to be creative and color a little outside the lines.